Startup frauds. United States of venture capital. Death to the investment bank?

Nonagenarian startup founders?


The cult of Zuck, and by that I mean the worship of the teenage startup founder, has distorted expectations among professionals. 

Too often, I hear young folks starting bright careers lament that they have not yet founded a company or made billions. Are successful founders in their early twenties really the norm? Let’s look at some facts that paint a different picture of founders’ relative grizzle. 

So far, the top 7 tech startup exits of 2019 (in an IPO year that is shaping up to be record-breaking) collectively involve 12 founders. Their average age in 2019 is around 38.5 years old. 

Some may have been in their twenties when they founded their companies (Lyft and Pinterest’s founders). But others like Eric Yuan of Zoomand Ethan Brown of Beyond Meat were 40+ and in their late thirties, respectively. Hardly pimply adolescents.

It’s time to end entrepreneurial age anxiety and the ageism that is its flip side. As long as there is an idea inside someone's skull, there’s time.

To quote a wise man, “Time is a flat circle.”

BTW, my estimates are on the conservative side — when missing an exact birth date, I assumed the founders had not yet had their birthdays in 2019.

And I'm in my mid-thirties, lol...I wish.

Liar, liar

Successful, disruptive startups almost always have an element of "fake it 'til you make it." But what happens when they just keep faking it?

From the Honest Company to LendingClub to Theranos, we take a look at 17 of the biggest alleged startup frauds of all time — and what became of them.

Sea to shining VC

Startups in California, New York, and Massachusetts have traditonally accounted for most VC tech investment in the US — but that's no longer the case. VCs are spurring hotbeds of innovation all across the country.

We used CBI data to identify the most active venture capital firm in each US state. Check them all out here.

 Lock up the money

Finance is one of the industries hit hardest by cyber criminals in recent years. Now private companies are rising to the challenge.

From data security to behavioral analytics to authentication, we mapped out 140+ cybersecurity startups with specific use cases for financial services. Expert Intelligence clients can see them all here.

Time of death?

Investment banks used to be at the top of the finance world — but that might be changing.

Technology and regulations are eroding investment banking's historical profit centers. Automation is taking over core processes.

From IPOs to M&A to research and trading, we take a deep dive into how investment banks are changing the way they operate. Read about it here.

 To your health

Healthcare AI startups have received $5.8B in VC funding since Q1'12. We take a look at where smart money VCs are placing their bets in the space and what the investments mean for the future of the healthcare industry.

Clients can read about it here.

Have a great rest of the week.


P.S. Want to work on a B2B product that clients love? We're hiring a product manager.

This week in data:
  • 357: The unicorn club of private companies valued at $1B+ grew to 357 this week after the latest funding rounds to travel and booking startup Mafengwo, procurement management platform Ivalua, identify management startup Auth0, drone co Zipline, and Marqeta, an open API payments platform. Marqeta was part of CB Insights’ 2019 Future Unicorn list, created in partnership with the New York Times — see the other predictions here.
  • $3.5B: International money exchange platform Transferwise reached a valuation of $3.5B after a secondary market investment from a group of investors including Andreessen Horowitz and BlackRock. The deal makes Transferwise the most valuable fintech company in Europe, supplanting Sweden’s Klarna. Get up-to-date on the latest fintech trends with our Global Fintech Report

  • -11%: A federal judge ruled against Qualcomm’s licensing practices, causing the mobile chip giant’s share price to tumble by more than 11% on Wednesday. Qualcomm is a major player in the race for 5G, with its next generation modems lined up to be used by big device makers like Apple and Samsung. Check out 19 other corps looking to grab a slice of the 5G market here.

  • 7,000: Ford is set to lay off around 7,000 employees, about 10% of its global salaried staff, in an effort to reduce costs by around $600M annually. The auto industry is changing quickly — from mobility-as-a-service to flexible assembly lines, here are 21 trends to look out for.

  • 500K: The ill-fated “New Coke” is making a temporary return to tie in with the latest season of 80s-based Stranger Things. Coca Cola is planning to produce 500,000 cans of the soda to be sold online. New Coke, which was released in 1985, was featured in our list of the Biggest Product Failures Of All Time. Check out all 141 here.

  • 1 kg: The kilogram has been redefined. The standard, which is relied upon to calibrate mass-based systems around the world, was previously set against a Paris-based piece of metal, which was slowly losing weight. The unit of mass is now tied to Planck’s constant, a number which can be measured with the same result anywhere in the universe.
  • 0.004 inches: Researchers from the University of Queensland created a quantum version of the Mona Lisa measuring 0.004 inches wide. The black and white image was produced by cooling a gas down to just above absolute zero to put it into a special quantum state of matter, and then using lasers to define “pixels” made up of about 50 atoms. 
One more thing...


Millennials apparently love natural deodorant.

The proof: Justin Bieber is teaming up with Schmidt's Naturals to create a special edition, "self-care" deodorant.

Like the song says, if you like the way you smell that much, you should go and love yourself.
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